[discuss] [bestbits] Representative Multistakeholder model validity (was: Re: Selection RE: 1Net, Brazil and other RE: BR meeting site launched)

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Sat Jan 18 20:21:48 UTC 2014

On Jan 18, 2014, at 9:58 AM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:

> ...  And despite my very deep reservations about the way
> representation can work in represtentative multistakeholder systems,
> some kind of multistakeholder approach has been working in many
> different forms for the Internet so far.  Therefore, I say the burden
> of proof most certainly lies with those who want to replace it in
> favour of something else.

Andrew - 
  To the extent that the representational model is used for predominantly
  for administrative and coordination matters, I believe that it is a 
  reasonable approach and has been proven in multiple Internet governance
  contexts.  Contrast that to discussions of actual topics and positions 
  (e.g. policy proposals, Internet Drafts, etc.) which should be completely
  open and decided by all.  It is in this manner that we've been able to 
  successfully make use of the multistakeholder model.

  To the extent that the 1net steering committee recommends topics to be   
  worked on (whether within 1net or wrt Brazil), decides on content for 
  the web site, and encourages decorum on the mailing list, I am not 
  particularly concerned about the specific committee members, and 
  believe that their "representative" nature will not be overly taxed.

  If the 1net steering takes material positions on topics of discussion
  without those positions first reaching consensus in this community, then
  we will have a major issue because the validity of representation would
  always be open to question; the only way I know to solve this is via a
  formal membership and election process to determine fair representation.

> An argument that the current system is not
> perfect is by no means an argument that it must be replaced wholesale,
> any more than troubling inconsistencies at the edges of theory were
> trouble for Newtonian mechanics in the absence of a much better
> alternative.

  Note - I am not arguing that the _representative_ multistakeholder model 
  does not work, only that the validity of any representatives appointed via
  nomination process has its limits and thus should be used for coordination 
  and administration, rather than material discussions of topics (which are 
  far more appropriate for the _open_ multistakeholder model.)


Disclaimer: My views alone.

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